The Dangerous Myth of the Southern Sephardim, Pt. II

Part II: The Sephardic Jews of America and the South

The Sephardim, it is important to observe, never developed the reputation in Spain for blood-thirstiness or murder, neither were they often accused of the sexual exploitation of Christian girls, as were their Ashkenazi cousins in Central Europe. The open violence, greed, and degenerate living that have come to make up the stereotype of Jews in Europe does not belong to the Jews of Spain, and it would be inaccurate, even unfair, to portray Spanish Jews in such a way. They were refined, assimilated, and, rather, had a reputation for subtle and nuanced undercutting, false conversions and Indian-giving, and, of course, the innocuous appearance with which they baited Christians to fight amongst themselves so as to prevent them from fighting an outside enemy. Their ability to ingratiate themselves to their hosts, even while undermining them, is the defining characteristic of their tribe.

The majority of Jews fleeing from Spain and Portugal after their expulsion went to three destinations—Holland, Italy, and the Ottoman Empire. The role of the Jews in shattering Christendom in the coming centuries is often overlooked—but it cannot be denied that Roman and Reformed camps alike favoured the Jews

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(The opinions in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Southern Nation News or SN.O.)

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